View Full Version : M3 perfect SD review (n00bs read!)

July 10th, 2006, 20:33
I recently(ok, two weeks ago) aquired a DS flashcart and passkey set for my standard DS, and it is awesome! i got the M3 perfect SD version with Passkey 2 bundle from divineo.com for 90 bucks USD, and I purchased a 512 MB SanDisk SD card for 31.99 USD at BestBuy, with a 12 dollar rebate on the way.

The bundle was shipped 2 buisness days after ordering, and arrived at my house a day after. Due to the small weight of the package, you have to get fedex express or something like that for 14 bucks.

In the envelope, there were 2 boxes, one with the M3 and the other with the passkey set. In the M3 box was the flashcart, and a small homeburnt CD with instructions, drivers and utilities. In the Passkey box, there was the passkey, and the upgrading device, in the form of a GBA cart with a DS slot used to connect the passkey.

To setup, I inserted the SD card into the side of the flashcart, and then put the flashcart in the GBA slot. the cart sticks out about a half inch, but i really dont give a monkey's ass about it. i then put in the passkey device, which uses a real DS game(i used the MPH demo) to boot the flashcart in DS mode. The only bug about it is that it is rather large, and a Passkey 3 or the FlashME program would be a better choice.

(edit) i ran flashme, great program. do it if you can.

after loading some roms and the latest firmware update onto the SD card with a game manager program, i put the card in the flashcart and booted up.

Oh Joy! the "tap screen to continue" annoyance is bypassed! you then see a disclaimer screen, telling how this product is not supported or endorsed by nintendo, and yadayada. you then see the DS menu screen on the touchscreen, which has 8 icons:music, movies,games, ebooks, pictures, PDA, Extend(opens an enhanced version of moonshell) and settings. note that the touchscreen is not functional in this interface.

To load games onto the SD card, whether NDS, GBA or console games, you open the game manager(get the latest from the download section at http://www.m3adapter.com ) and select the location of your SD card and the game folder in it. you have two buttons to click, Write NDS or Write GBA. Write NDS takes clean dumps of commercial roms, and patches them to run on the DS. i've never had to patch homebrew roms, but i guess you would have to if you want to keep save info. Write GBA takes GBA games and puts them on the DS. But wait, there's more! The Write GBA function also takes NES, Game Gear, SMS, PCE and Gameboy roms, and writes them to the card, with the proper emulator software. i've only tested the NES roms, the only problem rom i've found is Super Mario Bros+Duck Hunt. You could be better off getting a third party emulator.

(edit) after updating my game manager, SMB is perfect aside from one messed up sprite

To get DS games going on the M3, Highlight the game icon, and go into any folders you may have placed the roms in. highlight the rom or homebrew file, and press A. it then asks if you would like to load the backup for this game, which i suppose is the SRAM, and opens the game. To run GBA games, press start at the main menu to start the GBA mode of the flashcart, and follow the same steps for DS games to run the rom.

(edit)with flashme, hold select to go to the ds main screen and select "start gba game"

Bugs i've seen in the games:
New super mario bros doesnt run, i think im doing something wrong though.

EDIT: i had to change the read DMA speed to 1x. it runs and saves now.

I saw many bugs in metroid prime hunters, but they were blasted away with my arm cannon:D

For an example, i used "The matrix" as a dvd movie to play. To convert DVD Movies, you rip the DVD's contents to your HDD, and open the DVD Converter utility that comes on the M3's installation disk. you point the program to the correct IFO file of the movie(make sure you preview it to make sure the language is correct, and there is any commentary or crap you dont want). you then select how large you would like the output file to be, and then select the chapters you want converted. You can also choose whether the audio should be stereo, or mono in varying bitrates. video quality can be changed too, this can help framerate but hurt quality. The movies are converted to the GBM format.

So, i selected a 350 MB file output size with stereo sound and high quality video. i hit convert and a window pops up, playing the movie as it's converted without sound. it runs a little faster than the actual framerate when converting, but it took about an hour and a half to convert the 2 hour 16 minute movie. eventually it hit the 350 MB mark, so it then created a new file and continued. all in all, the movie was converted to two files totaling 656 MB.

Bugs i've seen with my version(DVD converter 1.21B)
Stereo is reversed. to compensate, i wear my earbuds backwards.:D
The framerate is reduced(about 24fps), some action scenes were almost like slideshows with the low FPS
The audio would occasionally go out of sync just a tad, IDK if it was from conversion or just occurs randomly.

The M3 in either GBA or DS mode has it's own music player built in. I don't like it, as you have to convert .wav or .mp3 files to listen to them. However, if you choose to use it, you select the output directory, select music files, choose audio quality(which really isnt all that good, sort of diminished IMO) and convert. However, the moonshell app I will discuss later has a good music player built in with no conversion necessary, and a nice touchscreen interface.

it has the ability to lock the shoulder buttons if you want to stick this in your pocket while music is playing.

Conversion is necessary to play audio files, which reduces quality.

(Edit)now that moonshell has been updated, the music player is worthless. sorry.

The ebook function can open many text files aside from PDF, but all i have tested it with are .txt walkthrough files. when you are done reading an ebook, you press start and a screen will pop up asking if you would like to make a bookmark.

you can use any photo with the .bmp extension in the Photo viewer, but when viewing them, you may only see part of the photo, which will make you have to zoom out. you can, however, convert them to a suitable size with the Image Converter. you will also need to convert if your photo isnt .bmp. if you paid attention to this review, you should know how to use this interface already.

I haven't had the time yet to use the PDA function, all i know is you download the PDA files from the M3 site and follow instructions on using them. I will update this when i can use it.;D

Extend Function(Moonshell For M3)
This handy little feature allows you to play music, read ebooks, and view photos, all at the same time in a windows-like enviroment. the touch screen is functional, but i am unable to run my roms with the Game icon. the interface is similar to the M3's, so i'll leave you to figure this out. I had to by myself!

One more nifty little feature this thing is capable of is Rom Dumping. you can download the dumper tool from the M3's website, and extract the dumper.nds file to your SD card. after booting the flashcart, you remove your passkey and put in the NDS game you want to backup. Before running the dumper utility, make sure you have at least 128 MB free on your card. run the utility, and it creates a clean dump of your game, that can be patched in the game manager and ran on your DS.

Now for the large edit!

How to get DS emulators to run on the M3.

Download the latest version of SnesDS.
Extract it to a folder, preferrably one called SnesDS (version x) that is with all your other homebrew. im sorry if you dont know what extract or make a new folder means.
find some snes roms. i cant tell you how to get them aside from google.
after extracting your snes roms, pick the one you want to play. i found that Super Mario World, Contra 3, Final Fantasy II and TMNT4 works fine, with minor glitches.
Drag the snes rom and drop it onto the snezzi.exe file.
this will create a (snesgamename).smc.gba file.
place it on your sd card with the game manager, wherever you want.
you must use the game manager, or your settings will not be saved.
for my test purposes, i used super mario world (u)[!].
the emulation is almost perfect, aside from garbage at the top, and no blackout effect. but here's a catch to every game. when it starts up, it looks like crap. so, hold L+R+select to open the setting menu. change the settings to:

BG0 P1
BG1 P3
BG2 P0
BG3 P3
BACKDROP YES(ive only see this do something in SMW)
leave all the others alone.

that's that for snes. limited compatibility, but damn, SNES on ds is awesome!

I'll post genesis stuff when i can get my ds recharged... have fun!

July 11th, 2006, 14:14
So what files exactly are compatible with the M3? Give me a long list, I want to know all. And I've heard that some files are only compatible with CF and not SD, Is that true? Its a good little guide though.

July 12th, 2006, 02:08
LITTLE GUIDE!?!?!? :D by files, you mean roms right? well, i dont feel like listing the 462 roms that do or don't work, so here.


as ive seen in the list, only two games dont work.

The Hombrew Hunter
July 12th, 2006, 02:20
I think that and all homebrew. I need to go get DS and GBA homebrew. Farewell!

July 12th, 2006, 14:22
well, homebrew is a given, as it was made to run on flashcarts..

Quay Cur
July 12th, 2006, 16:06
...some files are only compatible with CF and not SD, Is that true?
There very well may be others, but the only thing I've come across is DSLinux. When I found it it was only compatible with CF. This may have changed by now, though.

Edit: Still no SD. Here's the FAQ from their site:

http://www.dslinux.org/wiki/DSLinux_FAQ#Why_doesn.27t_DSLinux_support_reading_ from_or_writing_to_an_SD_card_in_a_Supercard-SD.2C_M3-SD_or_Magic_Key_II.2FIII.3F

March 16th, 2008, 06:42
So far, the majority of homebrew seems to be compatible with the M3 Perfect SD. I only found 6 DS homebrew games that did not work even with patching out of the hundreds that are available on the DCEmu web site.

Oh, there is one detail that may have been left out in this walkthrough, I am under the impression that you can get better performance by formatting the SD memory card with the following command:
format X: /Q /A:64k /FS:FAT, where X is the drive letter of the memory card.

This command formats the card in FAT format instead of FAT32, in a block size that is higher than the Windows default.

This leads to smoother gameplay in certain homebrew games (This is noticeable in Quake DS 2, and possibly other games), higher compatibility (I encountered errors in DS Organize until I formatted the card in FAT format), and possibly faster loading times in commercial DS games (I have not confirmed this yet).

(Information was taken from http://quake.drunkencoders.com/q2/downloads_how_to_play.html#How_to_play)